Apastamba Dharma-sutra

by Āpastamba | 1879 | 60,011 words

The Dharmasutra of Āpastamba forms a part of the larger Kalpasūtra of Āpastamba. It contains thirty praśnas, which literally means ‘questions’ or books. The subjects of this Dharmasūtra are well organized and preserved in good condition. These praśanas consist of the Śrautasūtra followed by Mantrapāṭha which is used in domestic rites and is a colle...

Praśna I, Paṭala 3, Khaṇḍa 10

1. (Nor shall he study) on the days of the full moons of those months in which the Kāturmasya-sacrifice may be performed (nor on the days preceding them).[1]

2. At the time of the Vedotsarga, on the death of Gurus, at the Ashlakā-Śrāddha, and at the time of the Upākarma, (he shall not study) for three days;[2]

3. Likewise if near relations have died.[3]

4. (He shall not study) for twelve days, if his mother, father, or teacher have died.

5. If these (have died), he must (also) bathe for the same number of days.

6. Persons who are younger (than the relation deceased), must shave (their hair and beard),[4]

7. Some declare, that students who have returned home on completion of their studentship, shall never shave, except if engaged in the initiation to a Śrauta-sacrifice.[5]

8. Now a Brāhmaṇa also declares, 'Verily, an empty, uncovered (pot) is he, whose hair is shaved off entirely; the top-lock is his covering.'[6]

9. But at sacrificial sessions the top-lock must be shaved off, because it is so enjoined in the Veda.[7]

10. Some declare, that, upon the death of the teacher, (the reading should be interrupted) for three days and three nights.[8]

11. If (he hears of) the death of a learned Brāhmaṇa (Śrotriya) before a full year (since the death) has elapsed, (he shall interrupt his reading) for one night (and day).[9]

12. Some declare, (that the deceased Śrotriya must have been) a fellow-student.

13-14. If a learned Brāhmaṇa (Śrotriya) has arrived and he is desirous of studying or is actually studying, (or if he is desirous of teaching or is teaching,) he may study or teach after having received permission (to do so from the Śrotriya).

15-16. He may likewise study or teach in the presence of his teacher, if (the latter) has addressed him (saying), 'Ho, study! (or, Ho, teach!)'[10]

17. When a student desires to study or has finished his lesson, he shall at both occasions embrace the feet of his teacher.[11]

18. Or if, whilst they study, another person comes in, he shall continue his recitation, after those words, ('Ho, study!') have been pronounced (by the newcomer).[12]

19. The barking of (many) dogs, the braying of (many) asses, the cry of a wolf or of a solitary jackal or of an owl, all sounds of musical instruments, of weeping, and of the Sāman melodies (are reasons for discontinuing the study of the Veda).[13]

20. If another branch of the Veda (is being recited in the neighbourhood), the Sāman melodies shall not be studied.

21. And whilst other noises (are being heard, the recitation of the Veda shall be discontinued), if they mix (with the voice of the person studying).[14]

22. After having vomited (he shall not study) until he has slept.[15]

23. Or (he may study) having eaten clarified butter (after the attack of vomiting).

24. A foul smell (is a reason for the discontinuance of study).[16]

25. Food turned sour (by fermentation), which he has in his stomach, (is a reason for the discontinuance of the recitation, until the sour rising ceases).[17]

26. (Nor shall he study) after having eaten in the evening,[18]

27. Nor as long as his hands are wet.[19]

28. (And he shall discontinue studying) for, a day and an evening, after having eaten food prepared in honour of a dead person (for whom the Sapiṇḍī-karaṇa has not yet been performed),[20]

29. Or until the food (eaten on that occasion) is digested.[21]

30. But he shall (always) eat in addition (to the meal given in honour of a dead person), food which has not been given at a sacrifice to the Manes.[22]

Footnotes and references:


10. The three full-moon days are Phālgunī (February-March), Āṣādhī (June-July), Kārttikī (October-November).


The construction is very irregular, the first noun standing in the nominative and the rest in the locative. A similar irregularity occurs below, I, 3, 11, 3 1. The Vedotsarga is the ceremony. which is performed at the end of the Brahmanic term, in January. 'In the case of the death of a Guru, the vacation begins with the day on which the death occurs. On the other occasions mentioned he shall not study on the day preceding (the ceremony), on the day (of the ceremony), nor on the day following it.'--Haradatta. Manu IV, 119; Yājñ. I, 144. 'The Gurus' intended here, are fathers-in-law, uncles, &c.


'This rule applies to a student only. It is known from another work that those who have been infected by impurity (on the death of a relation), must not study whilst the impurity lasts. 'Haradatta. Yājñ. I, 144.


The word anubhāvinah, interpreted by Haradatta as 'persons who are younger than the deceased,' is explained in different ways by others; firstly, as 'the mourners,' and secondly, as 'Samānodakas or gentiles beyond the sixth degree.' In the latter case the Sūtra ought to be-translated thus: 'On the death of gentiles beyond the sixth degree, (the head) ought to be shaved.'


Regarding the Dikṣā initiation,' see Aitareya-brāhmaṇa I, 1, and Max Müller's History of Ancient Sanskrit Literature, p. 309 seq.


Hence it follows that the top-lock should not be shaved off, except in the case mentioned in the following Sūtra.


Sattras, 'sacrificial sessions,' are sacrifices which last longer than twelve days.


'But in his opinion it should be twelve days, as declared above, Sūtra 4.'--Haradatta. It appears, therefore, that this Sūtra is to be connected with Sūtra 4.


'Because the word "death "is used here, death only is the reason (for stopping, the reading), in the case of Gurus and the rest (i.e. the word "died" must be understood in Sūtra 2 and the following ones).' --Haradatta.


-16. Manu II, 73.


Manu II, 73.


Haradatta states rightly, that the plural ('they study') is useless. According to him, the use of the verb in the singular may be excused thereby, that the advice is addressed to each of the persons engaged in study. Manu IV, 122.


The ekasṛka, 'solitary jackal,' is now called Bālu or Pheough, and is considered to be the constant companion of a tiger or panther. Its unharmonious cry is, in the present day also, considered to be an evil omen. Yājñ. I, 148; Manu IV, 108, 115 and 123.


Manu IV, 121.


Manu IV, 121.


Manu IV, 107; Yājñ. I, 150.


Manu IV, 121.


'Therefore he shall sup, after having finished his study.'--Haradatta.


Manu IV, 121; Yājñ. I, 149.


Manu IV, 112; Yājñ. I, 146.


If that food has not been digested by the end of that time (i.e. in the evening), he shall not study until it has been digested.'--Haradatta.


'Because in this Sūtra the expression "food not given at a Śrāddha" occurs, some think that the preceding Sūtra refers to "food eaten at a Śrāddha."'--Haradatta. This explanation is not at all improbable.

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